Today in Soap Opera History (August 5)

On this date in...

Vivian Fridell
1935: Radio soap opera BACKSTAGE WIFE premiered on the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS). The show moved to NBC Blue in 1936, NBC in 1938 and CBS in 1955, where it ran until January 2, 1959. Created by Frank and Anne Hummert, each episode opened with the announcer (Pierre Andre, Roger Krupp, Stuart V. Dawson) explaining:

Now, we present once again, BACKSTAGE WIFE, the story of Mary Noble, a little Iowa girl who married one of America's most handsome actors, Larry Noble, matinee idol of a million other women — the story of what it means to be the wife of a famous star.

According to "The A to Z of American Radio Soap Operas," this was one of the Hummert's favorite themes - taking a girl from Podunk and wedding her above her social class. Mary was originally played by Vivian Fridell.  The opening was later shorted to:

And now, BACKSTAGE WIFE, the story of Mary Noble, and what it means to be the wife of a famous star.

1962: Actress Marilyn Monroe died at age 36.

1977: Josh Taylor debuted as Chris Kositchek in DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Brooke Bundy aired for the final time that day as Rebecca North. Taylor played Chris until 1987 then returned to DAYS in 1997 as a recast Roman Brady, a role he continues to play to this day.

1980: On TEXAS, Alex (Bert Kramer) told Iris (Beverlee McKinsey) that their time was now.

1981: On ANOTHER WORLD, both Sandy (Chris Rich) and Jamie (Richard Bekins) claimed to be the real "Sandy Alexander" while being held at gunpoint by Lenny (MODERN FAMILY's Ed O'Neill).

1985: On DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Tony (Thaao Penghlis) and Anna (Leann Hunley) were married.

1985: THE EDGE OF NIGHT reruns debuted on USA Network.

1990: LOVING actress Noelle Beck (Trisha) married Eric Petterson.

1991: On ANOTHER WORLD, Iris (Carmen Duncan) crashed Jake (Tom Eplin) and Paulina's (Judi Evans) engagement party.

1994: On ALL MY CHILDREN, Joe (Ray MacDonnell) told Erica (Susan Lucci) that Mona had died peacefully in her sleep.

1995: Actress Clarice Blackburn died at age 74.  Her soap roles included Edith Spurrier on GUIDING LIGHT, Hattie Fredericks in ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Amy Snowden on WHERE THE HEART IS, Mary Lou Northcote in THE SECRET STORM, Marion Connolly in AS THE WORLD TURNS, and Theodora Van Alen on THE DOCTORS.  She also played multiple roles in DARK SHADOWS, and appeared on LOVE OF LIFE.

1999: Kirsten Storms debuted as Belle Black in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

2001: Actor Paul Joynt died at age 47.  His soap roles included Greg Huddleston on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Brian Emerson in SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

2002: 20 year old actor Josh Ryan Evans died. In an unusual and pre-taped coincidence, his character, Timmy, died on PASSIONS the same day.

NBC issued the following statement about Evans' death: "We are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Josh Ryan Evans. He was a truly unique talent with a remarkable spirit. He will be sorely missed by his Passions family and by all of us at NBC."

2003: Josh Schwartz's THE O.C. premiered on FOX.

2011: Actor Francesco Quinn, whose TV roles included Tomas del Cerro in THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, died at age 48.

2013: Former THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS actress Michelle Stafford premiered her new web series, THE STAFFORD PROJECT.

Celebrating a birthday today are:
Don Matheson (ex-Frank, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Mr. Padgett, FALCON CREST; ex-Lockhart, A NEW DAY IN EDEN; ex-Cameron, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 84
John Saxon (ex-Tony, FALCON CREST; ex-Rashid, DYNASTY; ex-Edward, ANOTHER WORLD) - 78
Ja'net DuBois (ex-Loretta, LOVE OF LIFE) - 68
Loni Anderson (ex-Teri, MELROSE PLACE) - 68
Erika Slezak (Viki, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 67
Maureen McCormick (ex-Rebecca, PASSIONS; ex-Marcia, THE BRADYS) - 57
Janet McTeer (Jacquetta, THE WHITE QUEEN) - 52
Tawny Kitaen (ex-Meredith, CAPITOL) - 52
Jill Lorie Hurst (Former Writer, GUIDING LIGHT; VENICE)
Scott William Winters (ex-Cyril, OZ) - 48
Ethan Erickson (ex-J, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Patrick, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-John, FASHION HOUSE; ex-Marcello, MELROSE PLACE) - 40
Jesse Williams (Jackson, GREY'S ANATOMY) - 32
Ryan McDonald (ex-Brandon, FRINGE) - 29

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1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday To Erika Slezak. Yay!

    Brian :-)